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Landscape Architect Analyzes 18th Street


At last month's Mardi Gras, partiers marched all the way down 18th Street from YJ's Snack Bar in the Crossroads to the Mutual Musicians Foundation at 18th and Vine. These are spiritual centers of two of Kansas City's favorite arts districts, but there's not a whole lot connecting them.

UMKC Urban Planning professor Jacob Wagner thought his students might be able to imagine ways to bridge the two neighborhoods. Wagner invited landscape designer Walter Hood to lead a two-day exercise - it's called a charette. Hood teaches at UC-Berkeley and is known for his innovative projects in Oakland and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The New York Times described him in a profile as someone who notices things that other people miss. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross caught up with Walter Hood at the offices of 360 Architecture, and asked what he noticed on this first visit to Kansas City.

The 18th Street charette was organized by UMKC's Center for Creative Studies and the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design. One student blogged his experience.

This story was produced for KC Currents.

Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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